So, you are engaged, what is next?
Well, after saying “yes” to your fiancé’s proposal, you might want to get right into the wedding planning itself. However, while getting right into the planning stage of your wedding may seem like an exciting prospect, it is not recommended to venture too far into the logistics and nitty-gritty details of your wedding without creating a budget first.
Creating a realistic wedding budget before proceeding to the wedding planning is paramount. Without a wedding budget, it can be rather easy for your expenses to balloon. Weddings are already expensive affairs by themselves, but approaching it with a plan sans the creation of a budget can set you up for a major pecuniary predicament. Doing so can lead you to going over budget which can potentially lead to a financial pitfall. Overspending can happen for several reasons but more often than not, it is a result of a couple’s lack of discipline and awareness of how much wedding services truly cost. In this regard, having a realistic wedding budget should not only be your initial step, but a crucial one in wedding planning. Your budget also dictates the options and decisions you make involving the suppliers of your wedding. Once you arrive on a budget, it can be easy to look for suppliers that are within your budget range without being disappointed. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than deciding on a potential supplier only to find out that you could not afford it. That being said, your dream wedding is very much within your reach no matter how much your budget may be.
Whether your wedding budget is large or small, a memorable celebration is within reach—all you have to do is know where to cut costs. As a savvy and smart bride, there are various ways you can potentially reduce expenses without compromising your elegant affair. Here are some of the wedding cost-cutting tips from the practical brides who have already walked down the aisle:
Wedding venues—particularly ones that are accessible and located in the city—can already be quite pricey. However, their usual asking price is doubled during the wedding season.
In this regard, consider having your wedding on an off-peak date. Find out which dates are popular for weddings and skip that.
Keep in mind that if there is more demand for a given date, you will usually have to fork up a higher price for the venue. In this regard, ask your wedding venue supplier what their slow months are and if a discount is available on the dates of those said months.
Whether you like it or not, there will be a lot of unexpected expenses that will likely pop up during planning. These can include anything from corkage fees to powering your DJ or photo booth.
However, know that you are not obliged to accept them without question. If you think an added cost seems unreasonable, respectfully ask if it can have it removed.
Saturday is a popular day for weddings as it is usually a day wherein people do not have to take time off work. More importantly, people do not have to work the next day which assures you of almost a hundred percent in guest attendance.
Unfortunately, seeing as Saturday is a popular day for weddings, it is generally the most expensive day to get married. In this regard, you might want to consider having your wedding on a weeknight or even on a Sunday.
In this time and age where most people are thinking of more sustainable ways to preserve resources, can you really afford to waste paper? While going with a few paper invitations to send to your sponsors is typically done, sending e-vites (electronic invites) to the rest of your wedding attendees can potentially save you a lot.
With so many wedding websites that specialize on electronic invitations (with some even allowing you to manage your guest list) it is easy to go paperless. More importantly, electronic invites can help you track your RSVPs.
However, if you are not ready to fully commit to the idea of going paperless, emailing your save-the-date will help you save on stationery and postage for guests who are out of town.
Wedding invitations are possibly the easiest things to DIY for your wedding. Simply ask a creative friend for help or buy a download template (or even get a free one) online.
Simply print them at home and start sending them out. In doing so, you can already save on the potential expense of having them professionally made at an invitation suite.
Today, with so many options available to brides, you can take the practical route by buying your wedding gown off the rack. You can pick out any white dress in the prom or party dress section of any department store or even at bridal shops.
Regardless of where you might score your gown, buying it straight out is always significantly cheaper than having a custom one made for you.
Your wedding ensemble goes beyond just the wedding gown itself. With this in mind, you will need to shop for accessories, veil, shoes and the like.
However, do not shop for any of these unless you absolutely have to. Save on your accessories by using family heirlooms. In this way, you can easily cover the “something old” and “something borrowed”.
Having an open bar stocked with liquor or even a mobile bar can be quite expensive. With this in mind, you might want to simplify your options for alcohol in lieu of having the whole range. Consider sticking to wine and beer so as to save money while keeping your guests happy with the available liquor.
Scaling back your options can significantly reduce the costs. However, if you wish to include a cocktail, just pick one or two signature drinks to serve to your guests during cocktail hour.
To save up on costs, ask your waiter to serve these in smaller glasses. After all, most people will just try your signature drink, take a sip and forget about it.
Flowers are already pricey by themselves so you might want to look for blooms that are in-season. Sure, you might have your mind set on a particular bloom to serve as an accent to your wedding’s theme or motif.
However, consider getting a different shade or variety if you wish to cut on expenses. Local blooms that are in season at the time of your wedding are less expensive. Incidentally, these flowers look fresher as they did not have to travel for days just to arrive at your reception.
Larger flowers tend to take up more space with fewer stems and typically look fuller. In this regard, you might want to choose flowers that are generally bigger than the average sized ones. You can also ask your florist if the flowers in your ceremony can be repurposed for use in your reception as well instead of buying more.
Your wedding arch may be a lovely addition during the ceremony but it can also serve as a wonderful centerpiece to tables of your principal sponsors.
The size of your guest list determines not only the size of your event but the potential cost of it as well. In this regard, there is no absolute need to invite your childhood friends or your high school chums to your wedding if you have not interacted with them recently.
Keep your guest list small by inviting only the friends and family you wish to invite.
As said above, you cannot proceed to any sort of wedding planning without creating a budget first. Apart from often being a point of contention, your budget determines how big of a wedding you can afford. Once you have locked that down, you can then proceed to devoting the biggest parts of your budget to the aspects and areas that are most important to you. In other words, these are elements in your wedding that you are not willing to compromise on. With that in mind, having a beautiful wedding is possible whether your budget is big or small.